Amid the receding second wave of the pandemic, a Kolkata based ‘serial inventor’ has made a pocket ventilator for COVID-19 patients. Although the nation is slowly regressing to fewer cases each day, concerns of a third possible wave is a cause of alarm for authorities and masses. In battling the possible wave of the pandemic, inventions like these may unburden the stressed health infrastructure of the nation.
Front line workers are working tirelessly in India, helping patients who have been swept by the second wave of COVID-19. In tandem is the Indian government that is pushing efforts to increase the vaccine basked so that more people get vaccinated at an increased scale. Amid these efforts, a Kolkata-based inventor, Dr. Ramendra Lal Mukherjee has come up with a ‘pocket-ventilator’.
An engineer by profession, Dr. Mukherjee has created a portable, battery-run ventilator that can be an instant aid to patients with breathing issues. According to an India Today report, the pocket-sized device can substitute the larger in size CPAP (Continuous positive airway pressure) devices that are made use of in hospitals across the country.
The Idea That Can Change & Save Lives
According to the inventor, the idea for the ventilator can when he himself was suffering from COVID-19 and his oxygen saturation level dropped down. In his interview, he said how his saturation level dropped down to 88 and his family was insistent on getting him admitted to a hospital. That is when the Eureka moment happened and he got the idea for the device.
After recovering from the disease, Dr. Mukherjee started working on the idea, he developed a plan, procured all the necessary components and spent his days giving birth to his new invention. Within the span of 20 days, he was able to create the prototype.
How does the pocket-ventilator work?
As per the reports, the pocket-ventilator is comprised of 2-main components – the power unit, & the ventilator. The ventilator is tied to the mouthpiece that the patient will use to cover his/her mouth and nose.
Once the power is turned on, the ventilator sucks the air from the outside and the air then makes it through an ‘UV- chamber’. This chamber will purify the contaminated air filled with viruses or germs. This air makes its way through the mask that’s included in the device. The air creates a thrust and significantly increases the air required by the respiratory system.
And in the same way, when the patient exhales out the CO2, the air is channeled through a separate UV chamber and is discharged out easily. The power unit also comprises of a control knob using which a patient can easily regulate the flow of air into the respiratory system.
Weighing in at around 250 grams, the pocket-ventilator runs on rechargeable batteries and on a single charge, can run almost 8 hours. Knowing fully well that a significant number of people own a cellphone that has USB charging, Dr. Mukherjee has made the charging of the pocket ventilator as easy as it can be. Any person can charge the device using a USB Type 2 mobile charger.
In the India Times report, Dr. Mukherjee was quoted saying-
“This ensures that even if a person is infected with COVID, the UV filter kills the virus before the air is discharged out of the device after it is exhaled. This will ensure reduced transmission of the virus and doctors will feel more protected.”
Other amazing inventions of the ‘serial inventor’
A resident of Kolkata, Dr. Mukherjee has over 30 internationally patented inventions to his name. These inventions range from stone analyzer, ENT scope, ear inspection auto scope to a lie-detector. He is most known for the ‘Micro Microscope’, for which he was awarded the National Award by the Indian government back in 2022.
Originally an employee at HCL, Dr. Mukherjee started to work dedicatedly on the micro microscope back in 1997 after quitting the job. By 1998, he was done with the project and the same year, the project went live.
The pocket-sized, micro microscopes are easy to use and are aimed to be made use of by any person from Class 3 onwards. The device can last for a whole year if its used for an hour each day. So far, over 50,000 units of the micro microscopes have already been sold across the world.
Back in 2019, he was approached by the GoI’s Environmental Science department that asked him to build microscopes with the ability of detecting microplastics in Antarctica water for a scheduled expedition. The biggest challenge in the task was that the GoI only gave him 3 weeks of time to do so. But of course, the serial inventor went on to make the device in 2 weeks.